Agency in the Face of Opposition: Women's Decision-Making and Son Preference in Vietnam
Tran Hung Minh, Consultation of Investment in Health Promotion Company (CIHP)
Nancy Luke, Brown University
Vu Song Ha, Consultation of Investment in Health Promotion Company (CIHP)
Vu Thien Pham, Consultation of Investment in Health Promotion Company (CIHP)
Sidney Ruth Schuler, Academy for Educational Development (AED)
Vietnam is an interesting setting in which to study relationships between gender and fertility decision-making. Strong patrilineal traditions, in which having a son to carry on the family line is extremely important, coexist with egalitarian socialist ideology and state policies discouraging couples from having more than two children. This paper analyzes recent survey data to investigate the effects of women's agency in social and economic spheres of life, and their attitudes regarding gender equality, in predicting their stated propensity to use contraception or have an abortion in face of strong pressure from close relatives to bear an additional child in the hope of having a son.
Presented in Session 28: Gender Preferences for Children